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Future models - Mercedes-Benz - Vito

Mercedes-Benz reveals next-gen Vito

The van that can: Mercedes-Benz’s Vito comes in variety of forms, from a tradie’s panel van to high-class shuttle bus.

Remodelled Vito trade van will have a big load to carry for Mercedes-Benz

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Mercedes-Benz logo29 Jul 2014

By RICHARD BERRY

THE commercial division of luxury car brand Mercedes-Benz has revealed its new-generation Vito mid-size commercial van in Germany ahead of its 2015 Aussie arrival.

Based on the new Mercedes-Benz V-Class people-mover range, the Vito shares similar styling cues, such as the redesigned grille, headlights, bonnet and bumper at the front and the new tailgate treatment down the rear.

It displays a more modern, sleeker and tougher look compared with the previous Vito, which was last updated in 2011 as part of a mild mid-life shake-up of the range.

Mercedes-Benz is using the catchphrase ‘one for all’ to describe the new Vito range, playing up the many different load-lugging combinations from which customers can pick.

The line-up consists of a panel van, a crew-cab style Mixto, and a Tourer commercial people-mover, but there’s also a choice of two wheelbases, different body lengths, two diesel engines, and front-, rear and all-wheel-drive platforms.

All three body-lengths for the new Vito are 140mm longer than for the previous-generation van. The compact Vito measures 4895mm, the long Vito is 5140mm and the extra-long measures in at 5370mm.

Wheelbases are the same as the outgoing model at 3200mm and 3430mm.

The van’s width is almost identical to the old version at 1928mm, not including the mirrors. The maximum height is 1910mm, which is lower than the standard two-metre car park maximum headroom allowance – an important factor for this type of vehicle.

At 1685mm, the width of the panel van’s cargo space is almost unchanged from the previous vehicle, while the loading lengths are 2433mm for the compact, 2668mm in the long and 2908mm in the extra long body. Cargo space volumes for the compact, long and extra-long are 5.5, 6.0 and 6.6 cubic metres respectively.

In front-wheel drive form the panel van has a maximum payload capacity of 1289kg. In contrast, the rear-wheel-drive Vito panel van can carry a payload of 1369kg.

The Vito Mixto has a second-row bench seat (with choices of seating for two or three passengers) and a separate cargo area. Windows for the second row and partition behind it make travelling more comfortable, while loading length ranges from 1.40m to 1.87m and cargo volume stretches from 3.1 to 4.1 cubic metres.

As the passenger variant of the Vito, the European version of the Tourer comes in three specifications – Base, Pro and Select.

Base has a tough and functional interior with a non-slip floor suited to the trade and construction industry, while the Pro has two rows of seats in the rear with a few extra conveniences such armrests, cupholders, storage compartments and tinted windows.

The range-topping Select has more in the way of luxuries such as two rows of premium-feel sliding seats in the rear, black carpets and exterior upgrades such as alloy wheels.

Seating in all Tourer models consists of two rows of bench seats with a choice of seating for two or three passengers in the first row. A ratchet system secures the seats to the floor so they can be easily removed.

The engine line-up consists of two diesel engines delivering five different power outputs.

Front-wheel-drive versions of the Vito will use a 1.6-litre transverse-mounted four-cylinder diesel engine with two power ratings: the Vito 109 CDI with 65kW and the Vito 111CDI with 84kW.

Rear-wheel-drive versions of the Vito are powered by a 2.2-litre four-cylinder diesel making 100kW in the 114CDI, 120kW in the 116CDI and 140kW in the Vito 119 BlueTEC.

A six-speed manual gearbox is standard, while a seven-speed automatic transmission is standard on the Vito 119 and can be optioned for the Vito 114CDI and 116CDI.

The Vito comes with a high level of safety features. As well as up to eight airbags, depending on the model, standard safety equipment will include an Attention Assist system that monitors the driver’s fatigue level, and Crosswind Assist, which aids in situations where strong wind affects the vehicle.

The new-generation Vito goes on sale in Europe in October, while Australian deliveries are expected to arrive in second half of 2015.

Mercedes-Benz Vans Australia vehicle specialist Craig van Spronsen said Australian pricing and specifications were being determined.

“The medium van market is highly competitive and we are actively working to ensure we can provide customers with excellent value in their overall cost of ownership,” Mr van Spronsen said.

“This will enable many to benefit from our next generation of lifesaving active and passive safety systems.” In Australia, Mercedes-Benz’s biggest-selling commercial vehicle is the Sprinter large van with 1261 sales in the first six months of this year. The Vito is the second best performer with 498 sales over the same period.

The Toyota HiAce and Hyundai iLoad dominate the light commercial van sector, with Vito also currently outsold by the Renault Trafic – which has recently picked up in numbers after the LCV division of the French car-maker won two big fleet contracts – and Volkswagen’s Transporter.

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